Alternative plan would cut taxes more

I am writing to explain to area taxpayers there are good ways and bad ways to accomplish property-tax relief. Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s so-called property-tax “freeze” has some serious flaws; however, there is an exciting new proposal crafted by the New York State Association of Counties that can dramatically reduce property taxes.

The governor earmarked just under $1 billion for a proposal to slow the growth of municipal spending and property taxes in his 2014-15 budget proposal. The Association of Towns has completed a detailed analysis of the so-called “freeze” rebate based upon actual 2012 and 2013 tax levies. The analysis reveals only 24 percent to 33 percent of taxpayers will qualify for any rebate under this approach. For the average Fulton County taxpayer, this will amount to a county tax rebate of about $18 per year. If every municipality in Fulton County is able to complete a complicated path to consolidation, the total rebate for all of those next year might reach $100. Frankly, the likelihood of that happening is a huge stretch.

The alternative plan that counties have put together is simpler and would actually reduce your property taxes. It also will not require the creation of a new state administrative bureaucracy to manage it. It will rebate the average Fulton County taxpayer more than $250 per year. You can view this better plan by visiting the following link: www.nysac.org/policy-research/documents/APlantoLowerPropertyTaxesFinal.pdf.

If this alternative plan is implemented, you could expect to receive a 23 percent reduction in your county property taxes next year. A 23 percent reduction is better than a rebate gimmick for sure. Let’s all hope our legislators in Albany pick the right plan.

GREGORY FAGAN

Supervisor, town of Perth